Welcome to Student Stories!

Real Students, Real Voices, Real Journeys

A unique web resource for students to support personal reflection and development before, during and beyond university

What is Student Stories?

Student Stories is an innovative and exciting web resource offering students and other young people access to honest accounts of student and university life from those who have experienced it first hand. The website consists of hundreds of audio clips, generated from informal interviews with current students and recent graduates from a range of UK universities about their undergraduate experience. They explore students' learning, thoughts, conflicts and changing feelings in full and candid detail. Each clip focuses on a core aspect of student life covering themes such as the transition from school to university, developing a sense of identity, adapting to a new academic culture, juggling part-time work and study, and thinking about the future. The site also features video clips, blogs and articles produced by students on topical issues of relevance to current and potential undergraduates.

The site is non-promotional and does not aim to offer advice; rather it reflects diverse aspects of the university experience in an unbiased way using a rich variety of student voices, so that users can draw on the stories told to aid their own personal reflection. All students and institutions featured are anonymous, giving all our contributors free reign to be completely honest!

Who is it for?

- School, college and university students

The site can be browsed by individual student users curious to find out how others have experienced university life; it is particularly useful for current undergraduates interested in hearing how other students have felt when undergoing similar experiences to their own. The featured stories, however, extend to elements of student life before and after university and can therefore be of interest to prospective students and recent graduates too.

Students can register on the site enabling them to create their own account and make playlists of their favourite audio clips (downloadable as MP3s), recommend clips to friends and save relevant pages as PDFs.

- Staff in schools, colleges, universities and other educational or career development organisations

The site is a resource for anyone working in these institutions in the following areas: learning development, PDP and reflective learning, careers, employability, widening participation, HE induction, progression/transition, staff development.

By taking advantage of the educational resources on the site staff are able to direct students to engage with the site in an active and structured fashion. The Subject Topics feature groups material that has been collected from different areas of the site into useful themes that may be addressed in a classroom setting.


Staff Resources

The yellow Staff Resources tab at the bottom right-hand side of the homepage provides teaching materials and links and resources relevant to the themes covered on the site. The teaching materials section provides sample session plans and reflective exercises using the site material and highlighting opportunities for incorporating clips into tutorial, induction, careers, PDP, study skills and other relevant sessions. 

Staff Registration

Staff are able to register as Educational Users, thereby gaining the ability to upload their own material to the Community Area (see below), create their own Subject Topics (and subsequently email these to students and colleagues) and teaching materials, and join their own institutional group to connect with other users in their place of work.

Community Uploads 

Each area of the site contains a 'From the Community' tab providing a space for staff to share their own material and that of their students (please note: student users are not able to upload material to the site). Once registered as an Educational User, staff are able to upload their own audio, video and written material into this area (provided it fits the stipulated guidelines; these will be issued upon registration).

We hope this will encourage the site to grow in content, keep up to date with the interests and expertise of users and support the development of a dynamic online community.

Who produced it?

Student Stories was conceived and created by staff at the Centre for Career Management Skills, a HEFCE funded CETL initiative (https://www.reading.ac.uk/ccms/), which is based at the University of Reading. 

The website, however, is not made directly by or for the University, hence it is a nationally available, open access resource, representing the views of students from numerous UK universities.

Contact

For more information about this site please contact:

admin@studentstories.co.uk

Feedback

We welcome your feedback on the site, particularly as it is still a work in progress!

To provide us with feedback please use the yellow 'Provide feedback' link in the bottom right-hand corner of the page. All comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated. We look forward to hearing from you!

Enjoy the site!

 

Acknowledgements

Student Stories has been developed by David Stanbury, Joy Collier and Laura Brown at the Centre for Career Management Skills (CCMS), in collaboration with Glued Ltd. and with extensive input from Finbar Mulholland , Helen Williams and Maura O'Regan. We would like to thank Julia Horn and Jessica March for their valuable advice and ongoing support, as well as Justyna Sikora for her thoughtful and constructive feedback. Most importantly our huge thanks go to all of the students and graduates who have contributed their own unique story, either in audio, video or written format, in order to make this site possible. We are grateful to you for sharing your experiences so willingly and openly.